VMware CEO Maritz warns customers to be prepared for licensing changes

Will future pricing model be as controversial as vRAM-based one?

VMware's CEO, Paul Maritz, has warned that the pricing model for virtualisation will evolve "radically" as it heads towards a more consumption-based model.

In a response to the controversial introduction of VMware's new vRAM-based pricing model earlier this year, Maritz said that the changes had been "fairly favourable" to customers, but added that eventually, the company will probably move to a more consumption-based model.

"We are going to have to move towards more of a consumption-based model. This is where we are going.

"We are trying to keep the licensing stable for as long as we can, but in 10 years from now, things will have changed quite radically," Maritz said in a Q&A session at the VMworld conference in Copenhagen.

During the session, Maritz, fresh off the plane from speaking at the Gartner Symposium, revealed that the analyst had revealed that VMware still led the server virtualisation market, with a 76 percent share. He was insistent however, that the company still faces a significant automation challenge.

He said: "People are going to want to go to cloud computing because at some point in the stack they just want it to work.

"Automating it so people can see it as a utility [so that they can spend more time on business critical computing] - that's the technical challenge. Making things simple is always hard. There is still a lot of work to be done before we say we have reached high automation."

Other topics Maritz addressed included VMware's Cloud Foundry project, an open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that he said works well on VMware's and other infrastructures, like Amazon and Rackspace's OpenStack.

Referring to it as the "Linux of the cloud era" in his keynote presentation, Maritz believes that the Cloud Foundry helps VMware to strike a balance between providing customers with choice in how they build their infrastructure and buying a pre-integrated offering that allows them to concentrate on making their business more innovative and competitive.

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